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‘Greta’ suspensefully depicts a friendship that turns from sweet to bonechilling

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‘Greta’ suspensefully depicts a friendship that turns from sweet to bonechilling

Colin Cavanaugh / Graphics Editor

Colin Cavanaugh / Graphics Editor

Colin Cavanaugh / Graphics Editor

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The disturbing horror-thriller film “Greta” has kept viewers on the edge of their seats since its release in theaters on Friday, as it shows what can go wrong when you befriend someone who is not what they appear to be.

The film follows good-natured New York City newcomer Frances McCullen, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, who meets the lonely widow Greta Hideg, played by Isabelle Huppert, after returning Greta’s lost purse that she found on the subway. Frances quickly befriends Greta and starts helping her around the house until she discovers that Greta is not who she pretends to be and tries to end their friendship.

The suspenseful film was Oscar-award winning director Neil Jordan’s first film in seven years. Jordan is known for his sinister and surrealist films such as “Interview with the Vampire,” and “Greta” definitely falls into that category, although her malevolence is subdued at first when she masks herself as a maternal figure.

In many ways, “Greta” mirrors the recent Netflix hit series “You” with its stalkerish and unsettling nature as both the main characters, Greta and Joe, respectively, hold their friendly and eccentric personalities until they reveal their true sinister selves in the end. Greta soon starts stalking Frances’s social media pages and repeatedly calls her after she cuts ties with Greta, just like Joe in “You.”

This movie had a slow start as Frances seemed to keep avoiding Greta’s wrath when viewers were most expecting something to happen. It was predictable at times as it fell into many horror movie tropes with jump scares and a hidden room. But the latter half of the movie is definitely the strongest as Greta proves to be sadistic and not just a sweet old European woman.

There were times when certain scenes were frustrating, such as when Frances first met Greta. In the scene, there was a thumping sound coming from behind the wall, but Greta shrugged it off as construction workers remodeling. Viewers were waiting for Frances to see through her act, but this did not happen until Frances discovered a cabinet filled with all the same styled purses, just like the one she returned to Greta.

There was also a scene were Greta stood outside of Frances’s job for hours, almost as if she was Michael Myers from “Halloween,” which seemed to be more silly than creepy.

The pacing of this movie also felt a little bit off as more time seemed to be devoted to the two women building their friendship instead of the horror that ensued after Greta finally took ahold of Frances. There were several glaring plot holes that were frustrating because viewers didn’t know why Frances was in New York in the first place and why she would choose the most complicated way to return the purse.

However, the performances redeemed the faulty scenes and delayed start. Huppert fully embraces the quirky and peculiar tendencies of her character and Moretz is delightful and charismatic as ever. The scene where Huppert spits gum into Moretz’s hair highlights her character’s traits and is definitely a memorable scene.

The 98-minute movie is entertaining and provides a nice balance between fright and witty jokes. The film tackles the
fear of befriending the wrong person and shows that sometimes doing the right thing can lead to trouble.

“Greta” is now released in the U.S. and is playing in theaters.

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About the Writer
Sarah Lukowski, Staff Writer

Sarah has been writing for The Suffolk Journal since fall 2018 mainly on arts and culture and opinion. She is a print journalism major from Connecticut....

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‘Greta’ suspensefully depicts a friendship that turns from sweet to bonechilling